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The Black Dog

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.satanism,alt.religion.satanism,talk.religion.misc,alt.magick.tantra,alt.mythology
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: The Black Dog
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 16:36:20 -0800

Thanks, tyagi, for downloading this stuff and sending it along to me --
i saw the URL when it was posted but didn't have time to open a web
browser right then and when i returned, the message had been wiped off
my server. (For some reason the expiry time on several of my favourite
newsgroups has beeen drastically cut short of late.) I am posting the
text to the newsgroups where my original enquiry ran. 

Anyway, what i see from reading the following material is that the Black
Dog that has appeared in my dreams a few times is of this type,
unrelated to the black dog cult of Bahairave/Siva, to Anubis as the Lord
of the Underworld, or to the black poodle-dog that appears as Satan or
The Devil's familiar or alter-ego. 

Like the Black Dogs in the following stories, my dreamscape "Black Dog
of Death" comes up from behind; he only appears when i am walking,
driving, or otherwise travelling; and on one occasion he (and and his
"son") had saucer-sized eyes. The funny thing is that i am not of
British descent and have not been a student of British folklore. A case
for Jungian-style archetypes? A coincidence? A repressed childhood
memory of a fearsome dog? I dunno. The mystery deepens....



nagasiva wrote: 

[from ]

   The hell-hound of the Fens
   In the four counties that make up East Anglia, Shuck is thought
   of in differing terms.
   In Suffolk. he is generally believed to be harmless if
   he is left alone. If challenged he will strike out, death usually
   following to the victim shortly.

   In Essex he is a kindly hound, accompanying travellers
   on lonely roads.

   In Norfolk, Shuck is thought of in more sinister terms.
   Here he is described of as a diabolical creature whose fiendish
   howls heard above the shrieks of the strongest gales. Terrified
   people have described sensing the dog padding up behind them, and
   his icy breath on the back of their necks. In Norfolk the belief
   is that you cannot set eyes on Shuck and live.

   Cambridgeshire follows Norfolk's tales. Don't look at
   Shuck in Cambridgeshire, for death will surely follow.
   Here are some recorded sightings of the black dog.
   One Christmas day last Century, a small blind boy and his sister
   were standing on a bridge in Thetford. The boy mentioned that
   there was a big dog next to him, and asked his sister to send it
   away, but his sister assured him that there was no dog around.
   The boy insisted the dog was pushing him, suddenly screaming in
   terror that the dog was trying to push him off the bridge into
   the river. At the same time, the girl felt her brother being
   pulled away from her. Just in time, she grabbed her brother in
   both arms and pulled him away from the edge and both ran off the
   BUNGAY - 1577 Bungay Church door
                 All down the Church in midst of fire
                       The hellish monster flew;
                   and passing onwards to the Quire
                          He many people slew
   In 1577, the villagers of Bungay had a horrific visitation of
   Shuck whilst at Prayer.
   This tale begins early one Sunday morning on the 4 August. The
   day started bright, with a warm sun. As was the custom, nobody
   would work on the Sabbath, so after rising, the people went to
   attend St. Marys Church.
   The service started as usual, the attendance was good that day.
   But some time into the service, the congregation noticed the
   sunlight fading. A few drops of rain started to fall on the roof,
   turning into a violent lashing of water falling on the roof of
   the church, threatening to drown out the singing of the
   parishioners. The sunlight was very subdued, lasting long shadows
   within the church, and making it difficult to see from one end of
   the building to the other.
   Without warning, there was a loud clap of thunder followed
   immediately by a bolt of lightning right outside the church. The
   lightning illuminated the interior of the church for a brief
   second before plunging it back into darkness. There was another
   flash, and another, both accompanied by the loud crack of the
   thunder. The congregation huddled together on the benches, the
   service forgotten. Some people prayed, others tried to comfort
   the children.
   At the height of the storm, the great outer doors of the church
   crashed open, and there stood a large black beast on all fours in
   the shape of a large dog or wolf. With one bound, it cleared the
   space between the door and the central aisle and ran straight to
   the alter with the speed of the devil himself. With another flash
   of lightning, the people lost sight of the beast for a moment,
   but it could then be seen moving in the shadows. It came across
   some people kneeling down, praying. With a ferocious snarl, it
   'wrung the necks of them bothe at one instant clene backward, in
   so much that even at a moment where they kneeled they strangely
   Whoever was unfortunate enough to have the beast brush past them
   would fall to the floor screaming as their skin was burnt. These
   people would survive, although they would be scarred for the rest
   of their lives.
   As the beast came across some children, one of the parishioners,
   Jon Prowling, moved across to bar his way. Seemingly enraged that
   someone would deliberately block his way, the beast flew at the
   man, knocking him to the ground and sinking its jaws into the
   man's back. The beast then turned and ran back to the church door
   and left, the storm abating as it followed the dog away from the
   '...the self same black dog, still continuing and remaining in
   one and the same shape, passing another man of the congregation,
   gave him such a gripe on the back, that therewithall he was
   presently drawen togither and shrunk up, as if it were a peece of
   lether scorched in a hot fire; or as the mouth of a purse or bag
   drawen togither with a string. The man, albeit he was in so
   strange a taking, dyed not...'
   Jon Prowling survived, although reports suggest he was a changed
   man, acting strangely and occasionally barking like a dog.
   However, he and the rest of the parishioners lived out the rest
   of their natural lives.
   This is not quite the end of the story. That same day, a strange
   storm brought down the spire at the church at Blythburgh,
   injuring or killing some of the congregation. Here again, people
   described a black dog in the middle of the storm, passing through
   the church as the spire tumbled.
   The door at Bungay church is still scarred with some clawmarks
   that have been burnt into the wood.
   Shuck has been seen around the villages on the Cambridgeshire /
   Suffolk border up to the middle of this century, around the area
   of West Wrattling and Balsham. One popular spot for sightings was
   Slough Hill. Since the second world war the sightings seem to
   have dried up.
   On the North Norfolk coast, between Sheringham and Cromer, high
   cliffs overlook small pockets of stony beach. People have
   described walking along the clifftop, and glancing down onto the
   rocks beneath, seeing a large Black dog running from Sheringham
   in the direction of the larger town. He can also be seen running
   from Cromer lighthouse towards Overstand.
   A villager in Clopton saw "a thing with two saucer eyes" when out
   walking on the Woolpit road. He tried to move out of its way, but
   the creature would not let him pass. As it approached him, it
   snarled 'I shall want you within a week'. With this, the creature
   turned and bounded away. The man died the following day.
   ST. OLIVES - MAY 1939
   The 'East Anglian Daily Times' published an article where Jimmy
   Farman described an encounter with a large Black Dog while
   walking his dog over the marshes near St. Olives. He described
   seeing it in the distance, whereupon his young bitch 'crouched
   down and went mad with fear'. Again, the Dog turned to walk
   towards them, and then vanished.
   One winter, a couple rented a hut near Walberswick Marsh. During
   the night, a thumping was heard at the front of the hut. Looking
   out of the window, they saw a large black dog with glowing eyes
   throwing itself at the front door. Terrified, the couple
   barricaded the door. Eventually, the animal leapt onto the flat
   roof and was away. Despite the snow, there were no pawprints.
   In the Winter of 1988, a mother and her son were walking in the
   fens toward Parson Drove. A light in the bushes made them stop in
   their tracks. On closer investigation, the light resolved itself
   into one huge glowing eye. The pair stood and watched as the
   'thing', as large as a calf silently crossed their path and
   Lady Rendlesham described being in Leiston churchyard in the
   early hours of the morning, when a large black dog came from
   among the gravestones, and with one leap flew over the gate and
   headed toward the sandhills.
   There is a white dog at Mistley Hill, near Manningtree. This dog
   is part of a legend concerning the Norman family. If it is seen,
   death will shortly follow in the family. It was last seen in
   OK, so this story may not feature Shuck, but is about a ghostly
   dog. Squire Carington Wright chased a poacher (a man by the name
   of French) off his land. French, and his dog ran toward into
   village church for sanctuary, but Squire Wright followed him in
   and shot the dog in front of the alter. Squire Wright was later
   fined for desecration, and the dog can be seen re-enacting is
   last journey, running around the churchyard and into the porch of
   the church.
   Shuck is said to run the Essex / Suffolk border between Middleton
   and Boxford.
   Shuck has appeared near Salcott cross-roads, from the direction
   of Peldon.
   Near Salcott, Shuck has also appeared in Tolleshunt D'Arcy, on
   the road leading to Tollesbury near Jordans Green.
   There is a story of a dog that walks between the two gates of
   Crix house, owned 1770-1858 by the Shaen family. He is rumoured
   to have been friendly at first, angered quickly when annoyed.
   Once, a man driving a timber wagon struck the dog with a whip,
   upon which the driver and cart were reduced to ashes. The dog is
   rumoured to have died of spontaneous combustion at the first
   sight of a motor car!
   A black dog is said to run through the woods on the Croxton Road
   (now the A428) from Caxton Gibbet to Croxton. His haunt follows
   the area where criminals who been hung at the Gibbet were
   transported to the unconsecrated burial ground a short distance

   Like most tales of Shuck in Cambridgeshire, it is said to bring
   bad luck to those who see it.
   Gate Design of Shuck on some gates in Bungay.

[from ]

   A real-life hell-hound
   'They du speak of a dog that walks regular. They call him Skeff
   and his eyes are as big as saucers and blaze wi' fire. He is fair
   as big as a small wee pony, and his coat is all skeffy-like, a
   shaggy coat across, like an old sheep. He has a lane, and a place
   out of which he came, and he vanish when he hev gone far enough.
   - Description of Shuck in Garveston, Norfolk.
   Black Shuck is a mysterious creature which has terrorised people
   in East Anglia for over a thousand years, up to the present day.
   A legend as old as the Scottish Kelpie or Irish Banshee, the
   Shuck is derived from the Anglo-Saxon name for demon (scucca).
   He commonly takes the shape of a large black dog, the size of a
   calf, sometimes distinguished by one large eye in the centre of
   his forehead, and on a bad day dripping fire from his mouth. He
   is usually thought to be the harbinger of death, although
   occasionally he has appeared simply to accompany people on dark,
   lonely roads.
   Please select your link
   [LINK] Shuck in East Anglia
   [LINK] Rest of the world
   [LINK] What is Shuck?
   [LINK] Where is East Anglia, anyway?
   [LINK] The recent sightings of large black cats in Britain
   [LINK] "Views from the Fen", articles from an East Anglian
   [LINK] Other pages on Shuck

catherine yronwode

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